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Trisha Yearwood's Southern Comfort Food

Country music star turned Food Network host shares recipe 'memories' in her cookbooks

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The first time Trisha Yearwood made her mom's potato salad, she got tears in the mayonnaise. "My mom never wrote anything down," recalls the country music star and host of the critically acclaimed Food Network show Trisha's Southern Kitchen.

"She used to cook just by what looked right. When I made that potato salad and it tasted just like hers, I cried," she says, chuckling. "That's what comfort food is for me — those foods that bring back memories."

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Trisha Yearwood's Glazed Ham and Strawberry Salad

Trisha Yearwood's strawberry salad is among the Southern comfort food that fills her table. — Melina Hammer

Luckily for us, Yearwood has lots of memories that revolve around food, many of which are recounted in her two best-selling cookbooks, Home Cooking With Trisha Yearwood and Georgia Cooking in an Oklahoma Kitchen.

And she's making more memories.

Yearwood cooks at home at least four nights a week with her husband, country legend Garth Brooks, and any of their girls (his three daughters from his first marriage, who are all high school or college age) who are around.

"It's funny to me now, but whenever I announce that it's veggie night at our house, all the girls seem to find a way to come home," she says. "I'll make roasted carrots with butternut squash, and cooked cabbage and sweet potatoes — it's fantastic. In April we'll plant our garden and watch it grow. There's nothing like being able to eat out of your own garden."

Strawberry Salad

Recipe adapted from Home Cooking With Trisha Yearwood, © Clarkson Potter 2010

Serves 6

  • 1 package ramen noodles, crushed, flavor packet discarded
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
  • 1 head romaine lettuce, washed and dried
  • 1 5-ounce bag baby spinach
  • 1 pint strawberries, hulled and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

1. Preheat the oven to 350 ° F. In a small bowl, mix the ramen noodles, almonds, sunflower seeds and melted butter. Transfer to a baking sheet and toast in the oven, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

2. Tear the lettuce and combine with the spinach, strawberries and cheese in a large salad bowl.

3. To make the dressing, dissolve the sugar in the vinegar. Combine the oil, paprika, salt and garlic and add to the sugar-vinegar mixture. Mix well and store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

4. Just before serving, sprinkle the crunchy topping over the salad and toss with just enough dressing to coat the greens.

Nutrients per serving: 365 calories, 9g protein, 24g carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 20g fat (7g saturated fat), 32mg cholesterol, 485mg sodium

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